Think With Your Head, Not Your Heart

It is often difficult to discipline an employee that we like. Some employees have a way of making their way into a manager’s heart which can make the manager’s job difficult when it comes time to deal with problems surrounding that employee. A manager certainly must show compassion and concern for employees’ welfare and development. But there is a significant difference between compassion and concern and allowing problems to slide.

When it comes to employee issues, try to think with your head rather than your heart. Thinking logically through an issue as opposed to allowing emotions to drive one’s thinking is critical to making good decisions in terms of employee issues.

When you are faced with an issue involving an employee, try very hard to forget about whether you like or dislike that employee. When emotion is allowed to creep into employee issues, inconsistency in how problems are resolved can set in. A mature manager is able to establish a positive relationship with employees without jeopardizing the ability to be assertive and direct and coach and counsel employees in dealing with performance or attitude problems.

Some employees are adept at getting close to people and know which buttons to push to get their way. Others are much less people-oriented and don’t tend to develop a strong relationship with their supervisors. This is simply human nature and everyone has a different personality profile. To hold an employee’s inability to make a manager feel good about them against the employee is immature and unprofessional. Because an employee is outgoing and knows how to “play the game” should never be a reason to favor one employee over another.

Base decisions and attitudes about employees on performance, not on whether or not you like them. If an employee has a positive attitude and is a high performer, but hasn’t endeared him/herself to a manager, is it fair to treat that employee differently than someone who has the ability to get close to people? Certainly not.

Are you getting too close to certain employees. Do you treat people consistently? Do you let emotion play into your perception of an employee’s performance?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, step back and rethink your approach to dealing with employees. Try to establish consistency in how you treat employees. Deal with employee performance or other problems without emotion and think with your head, not your heart.